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Times are Changin' Orlando

Times are Changin' Orlando

The game is over. The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50. Announcers rush the field for a word with Peyton Manning. “Peyton, now that the Super Bowl is yours, what comes next?” “Well, I guess I’m going to Disney World" Peyton responds,like so many other quarterbacks before him. Orlando’s identity—forever shadowed by two giant mouse ears.

Don’t get me wrong…I dig Disney…doesn’t everybody? The theme park and its surrounding attractions were a massive part of my upbringing. Disney films touched the soul of a younger, more impressionable me. Trips to Epcot chaperoned by my grandparents were opportunities to walk around “the globe,” tasting new and exotic foods and absorbing new and exotic cultures.  the photo ops with every Disney princess that made my heart flutter and get giddy with a 7 year olds nervous version of love. Far more important than any of my personal experiences with the corporate and cultural icon, Orlando’s Disney World draws millions of tourists to Orlando each year, and in so doing, has laid the foundation for our city’s economy. My family’s survival was inexorably tied to Disney, as was a vast majority Orlando residents.

But, times they are a changin’. Orlando is growing and gaining a unique identity as it steps out of a looming mouse-ear-shadow. This city is alive. This city is growing strong through a new sense of self. I can feel it in the air. Downtown is housing more and more creative workspaces like Canvs and Catalyst that boast innovative young businesses and entrepreneurs. The Milk District and Mills50 areas have quickly become bohemian havens for the bar, food, and concert scene. We are defining our city and nothing can stop us.

It’s a “cold” (sorry northerners) winter day in Orlando; I know exactly what the doctor ordered—a big boy noodle bowl of pho at Anh Hong, my personal favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the city. Across from me sit two close friends and Orlando residents: Ted Henderson and Josh Call. In conjunction with playing five or more weekly crooner gigs around town, Ted has been slaving away on a new album that aims to encapsulate the experiences fostered by a lust for living in a young city, enjoying the fruits its countless beautiful women have to offer, all the while acknowledging the torment innate in such love and lust (think if The Weeknd and Chet Baker had a love child). Josh Call owns the classic Vegan Hot Dog Cart in Downtown Orlando (grab two chili dogs after a few pints at Lizzys, you will not regret it) and recently opened his latest foodie venture, Dixie Dharma. This newest brainchild resides in the Market on South—an open marketplace offering artisan goods, a bakery, booze, and some damn good vibes. All across Orlando one can find lunch sit downs like this one and the people who comprise it. Young, energized, hungry individuals with a taste for culture, a thirst for knowledge, and the goods needed to add to our region’s cache, its charm, and its charisma.

I take pride in the pride my neighbors take in our city—shout out to my Lions. Keep creating, making Orlando a place that people revere in or outside of a theme park, on or off of I-Drive. Let’s make Peyton try vegan chili dogs because he wants to, not because I got him drunk and and made him. 

How to Train Your Dragon....I Mean, Dog

How to Train Your Dragon....I Mean, Dog

Dogs are awesome. Probably the three truest words in the English language alongside :grandmas are cute: Your dog is always so freaking stoked to see you, no matter if its after a long exhausting day of work, or at 3am stumbling in from a night out full of whiskey drinks without bottoms and friends without bedtimes.  Your dog is ready to party, cuddle, or snack the night away with you. Life can be such a breeze when you have a dog that listens to your every word and reacts to your every mood. 

But there is a lot of work that goes into training your beast to get to this level. Some people say that dogs can be stupid, stubborn or just wont listen, some say its the breed, others say its the way a dog was raised. I say that whatever the case, you should still try your hardest to train your dog and stop making excuses! Your dog deserves the shot of showing you what it is secretly capable of, and you owe it the 15 minutes a day to try training it to find out.


While I am not a professional dog trainer by any means, I am very adamant about people going the extra mile, especially when it comes to owning a dog.

Do you want to hear a crazy story?  I was at a block party in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando, There were hundreds of people in the streets partying and I had Marley with me, off leash like usual. A pretty blonde girl that looked around my age came over to my group and said "oh my god! Your dog is so cute and well behaved! I have a dog that looks almost identical but she could never be off leash! She is a crazy psycho" I asked her about her dog and she told me that it doesn't listen and would bolt if she didnt have a leash on it. She also told me that it also chews everything and cannot be trusted alone. We talked about how our dogs were the same and when I asked her where she got him she said "Some guy out in the country, I am pretty sure my dog is an inbreed idiot"......this is where my jaw dropped. We had gotten our dogs from the same man...our dogs were sisters! We could not believe this and we had to get them together for puppy playdates, and I had to see for myself how a dog that shares the same blood line with Marley could be such a little monster. The first time I met Marley's sister Madison, it was crazy to see the difference in two of the same dogs, owned by two different people. The difference in the extra mile of training, versus lack of thereof was night&day. I gave them homework to do, and set them on a path to train Madison to be the dog she deserves to be.


There were two big influences for me when it came to training Marley, one was a dominant alpha approach to teach her hunting,pointing,and retrieving. The other was positive reward approach for all other aspects. Some things were as simple clipping a 100ft lead to her and throwing a ball or decoy and literally pulling her back in and giving her a treat until she learned how to fetch and retrieve every time. Other things were more complicated like training Marley to ring a bell next to my backdoor every time she wanted to go outside and potty. Everything I did served a purpose and has given Marley and I the chance to live such a fun life together due to me being able to trust her in all situations and scenarios. 

Go the extra mile, train your dog and in return your dog will train you! Patience is a virtue, the extra mile is a strength of stamina, and a good dog is the best reward! 

Check out the following systems I used to help me train Marley (disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of these products)

The Bell Training System
SportDog Hunting collars and Training Systems (this is the collar Marley is always wearing)
101 Dog Tricks
The Perfect Dog Training System by Don Sullivan

Flipping Houses & The American Dream

Flipping Houses & The American Dream

“Flipping houses”… seems the words roll off the tongue so easily nowadays. But what does it mean to flip a house? Does it mean swinging a sledge hammer into every wall in a house after watching a few “how to” videos on YouTube? Maybe. Does it mean buying a house and reselling it for more money after some fresh paint and carpet?Sometimes. Hell, maybe it means finding a property that no one knows about yet, putting it under contract, and assigning that contract to a cash buyer for a fee.

There are so many different definitions and moving parts "flipping houses" to debate about that we lose track of the big picture. It doesn’t matter if you are a DIY expert flipper, a quick turn and burn flip kinda guy, or a wholesaler just trying to make as many fees in a fiscal year as possible. We are all living this crazy, fast paced, quick on your feet kind of lifestyle for a reason: it is our American Dream.

Real Estate gives us the chance to improve our lifestyle, the chance to make something out of nothing, and sometimes...a chance to start over. There are many people I meet that are taking the leap and turning their main focus to real estate investing well past the age any "sane" person would switch careers. Sometimes all you need is a deal, a down payment, lender, and a vision. You might not even need all those  things before you take the jump (but I highly advise you plan thoroughly!) 

Working with real estate also does another magical thing; it changes the world. I KNOW, I KNOW but hear me out. Every house that I have ever bought, sold, or wholesaled has changed someone’s life, and also changed a neighborhood. That boarded up house in your Auntie’s neighborhood that all the *pUnK rAwKeRz* chug Mickey's hand grenades in, before smashing the bottle on the floor and spray painting a dick to Donald Trump’s forehead on the wall has been bringing down property values all year and is a zombie that needs to die. It’s these situations where I have the chance to change a neighborhood in my city, the chance to take a house that once was full of squatters and raccoons and turn it into a home that a family can live out their own version of the American Dream in again, a family in a city that I am honored to help. This is where my job makes me the happiest. 

So, if you're in the Real Estate game, what does flipping houses mean to you? What is your favorite part about it? What is YOUR American Dream?